Homestay program

Whatcom Community College's Homestay Program offers the opportunity for a unique cultural experience by placing students with local families in Bellingham and surrounding areas. Living with a host family allows students a chance to learn about American culture by participating in the homestay's daily activities.

Homestay hosts come from various ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, religions and lifestyles. Students who wish to be a part of the Homestay Program must be open minded to experiencing the cultural diversity of the U.S. and our local area.

Homestays include

  • A safe, clean and welcoming living environment.
  • A private bedroom with access to a quiet study space, kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Regular interaction with homestay hosts that provide opportunities to practice English
  • Daily meals (food available for the student to make a breakfast and lunch, with an evening meal provided by the host).
  • Live near a bus route, as all international students need to travel to the college on their own. Occasionally, students may need help with transportation for school related activities.
  • Airport pick-up service for new student arrival.

Students are matched with homestay hosts based on information provided in the student's homestay application and letter to the homestay host.

Please note

  • It is important for students to include as much information as possible in the homestay application so that a "best-fit" placement can be made.
  • Homestay placements will not be made until all forms have been received.
  • Homestay placements are sent out 10 days before the suggested student arrival date. 

Residence life apartments

Whatcom Community College leased apartments provide international students the opportunity to live with other Whatcom students in an independent setting just across the street from campus. The apartments are in close proximity to public transportation, restaurants and shopping. Each apartment consists of shared living area, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, and private deck with extra storage. Apartments are equipped with all major appliances, including a stove/oven, refrigerator/freezer, and dishwasher. In addition, apartments are fully furnished and include laundry facilities.

Monthly cost, including basic utilities $475 - $525

Off campus housing

There are many apartment complexes located within walking distance from the college. The average rental costs for apartments near WCC can range in price from $500 per month for a studio apartment, to $980 for a three-bedroom apartment. Generally, these apartments are not furnished and students are required to buy all household necessities (bed, kitchen/cooking items, table and chairs, etc.). WCC students also have the option of living in a dormitory at Western Washington University on a “space available” basis. Generally, space is available during the winter, spring, and summer quarters.